The Harlem Renaissance in the 1920s had a significant impact on the African and Caribbean intellectuals, authors, and artists living in France. The Negritude, a literary movement of French intellectuals - not only in Africa but also in the Caribbean and South America, marked one of the essential aspects in Colonial literature and art. It was a rupture between the French culture and civilization and a newly introduced, refined, sophisticated, post-colonial movement that had roots in pre-colonial Africa. La Negritude as a movement began in Paris in between two wars (WWI and WWII). During this period, the ruling ideology of the colonist – was otherwise known as tabula rasa. The French argued that it brought values to African, which before were non-existent. The founders or the pioneers of the Negritude were three black intellectuals, Leopold Senghor - Senegal, Leon Gontran – French Guyana, and Aimé Césaire – Martinique. The movement was influenced by influential authors such as Langston Hughes and Claude Mc Kay of Harlem Renaissance.32
La négritude se présente sous deux aspects : objectif et subjectif […]. C’est objectivement l’ensemble des valeurs de civilisation du monde noir, dont le sens de la communion, le don de l’image analogique, le don du rythme fait de parallélismes asymétriques. D’un mot c’est une certaine dialectique, mieux une symbiose entre l’intelligence et l’âme, l’esprit et la matière, l’homme et la femme, etc. La négritude est aussi une certaine volonté et une certaine manière de vivre les valeurs que voilà. C’est surtout ce dernier sens que lui donne Aimé Césaire. […]33
(Adaptation) Negritude presents itself in two aspects: objective and subjective […]. It is objectively the set of values of civilization in the black world, including the sense of communion, the gift of analogical image, the gift of rhythm made of asymmetric parallelisms. In a word, it is a certain dialectic, better a symbiosis between intelligence and soul, spirit and matter, man and woman, etc. Negritude is also a certain will and a certain way of living these values. It is especially this last meaning that Aimé Césaire gives it.
L’école de Dakar
The Negritude was a form of self-expression and liberation of African and Caribbean authors and artists – one of the most prominent was Aimé Cesaire with his poetry. Ecole de Dakar, more so than a school, was a movement - of self-affirmation. The school was dedicated to art and the promotion of Senegalese artists, self-expression, creativity, and authenticity.
Léopold Sédar Senghor, the first Senegalese President, became one of the promoters of the school by advocating native art, culture, national museums, and various events and festivals. The art featured in these exhibitions was a form of liberation from the influences of colonialism. It marked a new period of creativity and development known as the Africanité. As the Senegalese President - Senghor - established better conditions for art by funding art schools. During this time, one of the prominent artists was the modern painter Papa Ibra Tall (1935-2015).